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In this issue

Take Back Your Privacy with CDT

CDT in Action

January 27 - Ari Schwartz, Jim Dempsey, John Morris and Greg Nojeim will speak on various topics at the State of the Net conference in Washington, DC.

January 28 – Alissa Cooper will speak at the FTC’s roundtable on the future of privacy in Berkeley, CA..

February 3-4 – Deven McGraw will speak on health privacy at two parallel events, the National HIPAA Summit and the Health Information Exchange Summit, in Washington, DC..

February 5 - Ari Schwartz will participate in a PBS Great Debate: “Our Lives Online: Safe or Not?” in San Antonio, TX..


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The last two weeks saw some pretty remarkable developments in Internet policy. First, Google threatened to pull out of China in response to an intrusion on its Gmail service and growing censorship demands. Second, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton upped the ante with a major speech on Internet freedom. Finally, hundreds of commenters weighed in on “net neutrality” at the FCC. Here are some highlights, from CDT’s perspective.

China, Google and the Fight for the Open Web

“Enough is enough,” said Google, announcing on January 12 that it would stop censoring results on its Chinese search engine,, and warning that it might withdrawal from China entirely. The decision was prompted by Google’s discovery that its email service had been hacked, apparently to spy on critics of the Chinese government. In the background were steadily growing Chinese government demands to censor search results.

CDT has always supported the presence of Western companies in difficult markets. At the same time, we've also stressed that companies have to constantly evaluate the risks to human rights. CDT strongly supported Google’s decision. Leslie Harris explored the trade-offs in her Huffington Post blog.

Then, last week, in a historic speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the U.S. would marry the strength of its diplomacy to the transformative power of the Internet to help ensure that people everywhere had unrestricted access to information. CDT, welcoming the speech, said it will be working with the State Department to develop effective programs and policies that advance Internet freedom worldwide.

FCC's "Rules of the Road" for Open Internet

On January 15, CDT submitted extensive comments on the FCC's proposed "open Internet" rules.

The FCC has put its finger on a crucial challenge: Protecting the Internet's ability to serve as a platform for free speech and innovation. The current legal and policy framework does not guarantee the future of the Internet's open and nondiscriminatory structure. CDT's comments offered the FCC detailed recommendations on a range of key concepts, including the new nondiscrimination and transparency principles and the meaning of terms such as "reasonable network management" and "managed or specialized services." Before anything else though, we stressed that the FCC must lay out a sound basis for assuming the jurisdiction over the Web.

To learn more, check out CDT's PolicyBeta blog post and our longer, more analytic Policy Post on the issue.

CDT Inspires FCC Call for Comments on Broadband

In response to a suggestion by CDT, the FCC put out an official call for comments on a range of important privacy issues to be considered as part of the development of a National Broadband Plan. CDT urged the Commission to include in its broadband plan privacy related initiatives and recommendations that could help spur the growth of the Internet.

More from the CDT's PolicyBeta Blog

FTC’s Vladeck and Leibowitz Recognize the Privacy Policy Paradox - Erica Newland dissects a recent joint interview with the FTC’s chair and the head of its consumer protection bureau, in which they note the limitations of notice and comment as the basis for privacy protection.

High Value Data Sets in the Wild - Heather West comments on the release last week of big data sets by federal agencies under the Open Government Directive.

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